ABSTRACT

After a downturn during the 1990s, Pakistan’s economy experienced a dramatic revival in the post-9/11 period. In 2007, this economic surge was still in evidence, with an average growth rate in excess of 6 per cent over the period. The country’s economy had experienced cyclical patterns in earlier decades, and therefore by 2007, the question remained as to what extent and for how long this upturn could be maintained. Tied to these questions was the issue of how much longer the military dictatorship of ‘president’ Pervez Musharraf would last. Beginning with the coup that ousted the civilian government of prime minister Nawaz Sharif in October 1999, and initially unable to reverse the economic malaise it had inherited, the Musharraf regime had overseen the return to economic buoyancy since 2002. These developments can be better understood in the context of the broader impacts on the political economy that have shaped Pakistan’s economic structures and processes before and after decolonization in 1947. A brief survey of these emerging patterns in the political economy will provide a useful perspective to an analysis of the economic scenario since 2000.